This film, from my point of view, is a triumph it interweaves 9 peoples stories during the course of one day. However it starts with recounting three separate and relatively well known stories about coincidence, the scene is set coincidence would appear to be the theme, but is it?
The characters who crisscross the film are all in distress of some kind or another and as they desperately seek answers to their pain-filled lives their stories unfold. Frank (played by Tom Cruise) is writing a self help book on how to get a woman, called ‘Seduce and Destroy’, to start with the character is not likeable at all, but as you are drawn into his story and what made him who he now is I, for one, was left with a degree of sympathy for what can best be described as a lost soul. John Reilly as a divorced police officer shines as one of the stars of the film as does Julianne Moore who plays Linda Partridge and Melora Walters who plays Claudia fighting the psychological problems of drug addiction.
Throughout the film we start to see slowly, maybe a little too slowly, see how each of the characters strive in search of happiness, forgiveness, and meaning in their lives. Is it really coincidence that they are all striving for meaning in their lives, surely not? So what really connects these 9 people?
A quiz show, in some way each one has a connection with a quiz show, some more loosely than others. Through these differing lives we see how life is much the same for each of us, regardless of age, job, wealth the thing which would appear to drive us all is a search for happiness and contentment. The message of the film is about how and where we seek it, and the consequences that seeking may bring.
This isn’t a film to watch if you are wanting a light hearted bit of entertainment, nor is it one when you don’t have much time (it is 186 mins long), but it is a film which takes you on a remarkable journey with an ending which will make much more sense to those who know their Bibles than it will to those who don’t. All in all it is well worth watching and probably is even better second time around.